| Jun 20, 2023
Happy Solstice! June update from Bolivia
Help Bolivia celebrates turning 5 on the beach!
Greetings on Aymara New Year, aka Willkakuti, aka Solstice! In Bolivia this day is a holiday to recognize the Aymara New Year. In the northern hemisphere we welcome summer, and in Canada we recognize June 21st at National Indigenous Peoples Day. Many reasons to celebrate!
In May three HBF Directors (myself, Matt, and Paul) and one donor (Cameron) visited the projects in Bolivia. Our visits are always self-funded by the travellers, and not donors. We look forward to them very much. This trip we also got to know the children in Villa Ingenio, and that was priceless!
We visited the children at Tahuantinsuyo several times. On what will become an annual event, HBF celebrated our first "Canada Day" with the children by doing Canadian crafts and teaching them to make blueberry pancakes, complete with maple syrup brought in our suitcases from Canada! We were thrilled to see the positive differences in the children who were going through a rough patch last summer during our last visit. With some intervention support from HBF, we helped their family situations and now we can see how this has made them happier and lifted their self esteem. Program Director Elisa told us that HBF was saving lives, and that made us feel quite humble.
At Tahuantinsuyo HBF cut the ribbon on the sewing classroom in honour of HBF Director Paul's late wife Carol, in whose memory Paul purchased the sewing machines. Carol's Classroom is a busy place, with Moms learning how to sew in order to gain skills to help them find more enjoyable and profitable work than they do now, typically re-selling items in the markets, or working in construction (sans safety equipment!). The Moms were excited to show off their work and extend their gratitude to Paul and HBF donors.
Help Bolivia turned 5 while we were there, and we celebrated on the beach with all the children from both projects and their families! This was a trip paid for by Matt and myself, not from charity funds. It was a wonderful celebration! Half of the children had never been to a beach before. How I wish that all of you reading this could have seen their smiles, heard their laughter!
In Villa Ingenio we spent a day with the children that included making some Canadian crafts, as well as a visit to a family home. The poverty in the family was very evident. The family lives in one room, with a bed and an old couch. The single Mom is grateful that her two children are able to attend the Saturday afternoon program, and is hopeful that the program will grow to full time in order to provide more educational support. We are anxious to grow the program, too. We spoke with Joel, the program Director, and he told us of the positive changes apparent in the chlidren since they first started the Saturday afternoon program in September. However, a few hours a week is not enough to help them catch up with their peers in school, nor to help their many problems due to the stress, poor nutrition and poverty in their lives. If you haven't done so already, please consider signing up as a monthly donor to help us grow this program. Even $10 a month helps!
Thank you a million times again for helping these children and their families. They are so appreciative for your support, and are still in awe that people all over the world want to help them. As part of a group of caring indivduals, HBF can't save the world, but we're making a world of a difference in the lives of these communities. THANK YOU for being a part of that.
Have a great summer!
Visiting a family home in Villa Ingenio
Blueberry pancakes and maple syrup from Canada!
Ribbon cutting on Carol's Classroom
West Coast Indigenous Puppet from Canada
Making snowmen (and also reindeer & polar bears!)